Senator Edward Kennedy lost his battle to cancer yesterday evening. The Esperanza family expresses our condolences to the loss of one of our national leaders.

At the 2007 National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast and Conference, Esperanza presented Senator Kennedy with the Esperanza Leadership Award based on the biblical verse, Joshua 1:9, which states "…be strong and brave. Don't ever be afraid or discouraged!"

Senator Edward M. Kennedy did just that during the past 47 years while representing the state of Massachusetts in the United States Senate. Since his election in 1962, he was re-elected to seven full terms. As a senior member of the Senate, he fought for issues that benefit not only his constituents, but all citizens of our nation. Senator Kennedy was very active on a wide range of issues, including education reform and immigration reform. He defended the rights of workers and their families, and strengthened the civil rights of the voiceless.

"I am saddened to lose a leader that supported faith based programs and for his tireless commitment to comprehensive immigration reform. Through several meetings he worked hard to find a way to get the legislation passed. We will miss his leadership and we pray for the Kennedy family at this time of loss. I hope that time and the wonderful memories of him, will help lessen the burden the sorrow that the family and our nation is feeling." — The Reverend Luis Cortes, Jr., President of Esperanza

Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr. is president of Esperanza, the largest Hispanic faith-based network in the country. With a national network of 12,000 faith and community-based agencies, Esperanza is one of the leading voices for Hispanics in America.

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